Drawing on engagement theory, this study aims to examine how leader–member relationships, including on-work relationship (leader–member exchange [LMX]) and off-work relationship (leader–member guanxi [LMG]), influence employees’ promotive and prohibitive voice. Furthermore, the study uses procedural justice as the moderator to distinguish the effects of LMG and LMX on employees’ psychological states and voice through a mediated moderation model.
The authors use a sample from a private and local company in Southern China to test their theoretical model.
The study finds that both LMG and LMX have positive effects on employees’ voice behavior through employees’ psychological states (psychological meaningfulness and psychological safety).
In a Chinese context, leaders have a more direct and powerful influence on employees than their counterparts in the Western society. Thus, the findings of LMX and LMG may not be generalizable to a Western context. A possible extension is to examine and compare the effects of social context (e.g., off-work leader–member relationship) on voice between the East and the West.
One important implication is that off-work relationship should be used by managers to encourage employee voice.
This study enriches the antecedents of voice with a new dimension of leader–member relationship, namely, LMG.
The authors would like to thank Professor Cherrie Zhu and the reviewer’s insightful comments. The first two authors equally contributed to this paper. For questions about this paper, contact corresponding authors: Wen Wu (firstname.lastname@example.org), Shengyue Hao or Xiaohua Lu, who is also an associate professor, Beijing Jiaotong University.
Song, X., Wu, W., Hao, S., Lu, X., Zhang, Y. and Liu, Y. (2017), "On-work or off-work relationship? An engagement model of how and when leader–member exchange and leader–member
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